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Jun 15, 2010 06:20 PM

Tipsy (Drunken!) Cherries: How do you get 'em liquored up? :)

It's cherry pickin' season and I thought it'd be fun to make some tispy cherries. So far I've seen recipes with Maker's Mark, tequila, rum, 151, orange liqueur, vodka...any favorite recipes to share? I'd love to get them tipsy, then dip them in chocolate...what say ye? I'm starting to think Cruzan vanilla rum might be nice...

Here's the tequila & orange liqueur one:

I've seen a recipe for making cherries with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

Talk to me, 'hounds.

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    1. re: TrishUntrapped

      Yeah, Kirsch or that Cherry Herring stuff, although I haven't had that in so long I can't remember if it's any good. I was given a bottle of imported Italian cherries marinated in brandy, they were "intense," so that's another possibility, or use the maraschino liqueur. Brandy may be your best choice, actually.

      I do like your rum/orange liqueur/vanilla recipe as well. Nice with a chocolate dip.

    2. Brandy is a classic. Don't break out the Louis XIII, but a drinkable brandy will play nicely with fruit.

      1. I've done cherry vanilla w/ dried cherries and rye whiskey (ala some Chow post). Really want to do fresh w/ bourbon cuz that is 2 of my favorites all in one. Besides, what goes poorly w. bourbon.

        2 Replies
        1. re: corneygirl

          Thanks, everybody...I'll let you know what I decide!

          bushwickgirl--what is not to love about "intense" and Italian?! ;)

          corneygirl, have I told you lately I dig your avatar...BIG FAN of Emily Strange and her black katties!

          1. re: kattyeyes

            Emily isn't evil... she's just up to no good.


        2. Every year when sour cherries are in the market I put up a couple of quarts in Maraschino Liqueur. I've tried other combinations of sour and sweet cherries and different kinds of alcohol, but this is the one combination I make over and over again--perhaps because I use them mainly as a garnish for Manahattans.

          I didn't care as much for sweet cherries in either Wild Turkey or brandy. But if you're going to macerate sweet cherries, you should use one of the firmer varieties such as Bing or Van. Other varieties were okay if you use them within the first month or so, but didn't hold up to the booze for the long haul.

          5 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            Thanks, Joan--yes, they're Bings. Do you prick them with a toothpick as suggested here?

            1. re: kattyeyes

              I pit my cherries. I tried not pitting them once and worried that my guests might break a tooth. Guess that's less of a concern if they're dipped in chocolate.

              1. re: JoanN

                I decided to poke holes for maximum tipsiness. Some I made silly patterns just 'cause I was in a playful mood--my favorites are the smiley though the cherry is smiling 'cause it's drunk. HA HA HA!

                I went with Cruzan vanilla rum, Van Gogh Dutch chocolate vodka and 43 Liqueur. The rest of the virgin (!) cherries are for wholesome snacking and I plan to dip a few in white chocolate with matcha powder. Talk about antioxidants!!! :)

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  Love the look of keeping the stem on, something you can't do it you pit them.

                  Never heard of 43 Liqueur. About to go look it up. Let us know which you thought worked best.

            2. From Jacques Pepin:
              During the summer, when cherries are plump, ripe, and juicy, put up cherries in alcohol and keep them in the cellar to enjoy during the winter. My mother always had some preserved cherries on hand. Served with some of the cherries, this eau de vie makes a great after-dinner drink. I sometimes use pure grain or fruit alcohol (about 190-proof) that I dilute by half with distilled water, but if this is not an option, substitute vodka.

              Trim the stems of about 1 pound large sweet cherries such as Bing, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem attached to the cherries. (If the stems are pulled out, the alcohol will permeate the cherries, making them soft and mushy instead of firm and crunchy.) In a bowl, mix about 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups eau de vie or vodka. Pack the cherries into a Mason jar and pour the alcohol mixture over them so it just covers the fruit. Cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid and set aside in a cool place for at least a month. Serve in a brandy glass with some of the liquid. The cherries will keep for a couple of years.

              12 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Hate to question Jacques Pepin, but I just don't see the point in macerating cherries in vodka. I guess the eau de vie would be good, but that's not what I'm putting up cherries for. I also don't see the point of trimming the stem to half an inch. If you're going to keep the stem, why not keep the whole stem? It makes for a much more elegant presentation.

                Finally, curious what book this came from. I'd almost be willing to bet that if he were printing this recipe today he might add a bit of sugar if he thought it absolutely necessary, but I'd be really surprised if he still recommended the use of corn syrup.

                1. re: JoanN

                  It was from his newest TV series, More Fast Food My Way. It's my guess that he chose corn syrup for the viscosity.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    Sugar and corn syrup both readily dissolve in alcohol, so that's not the issue. It seems like his method and presentation were his family's time honored technique of preserving the cherries.

                    Perhaps the French are not so reluctant to use corn syrup occasionally as we Americans can be.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      I'm guessing that the knee-jerk thing about corn syrup comes from the hfcs scourge that gets so much bad press. Corn syrup has been a kitchen staple (think Karo Syrup from days of old). It has its uses, as long as you don't put gobs of it in every supposedly savory thing on earth that you eat.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        but gobs of cornsyrup is the most delicious way to eat it

                  2. re: JoanN

                    At 190 proof, there will be absolutely no difference in flavor between eau de vie and grain alcohol. And I suspect that the reason for using such neutral spirits is to emphasize the flavor of the cherries, not the liquid in which they're preserved.

                    And why do you think that corn syrup wouldn't be used? We're not talking about HFCS here, but simple Karo. It dissolves easily at room temperature, and has its own flavor profile. What's wrong with that?

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Thank you for posting this - I think people are starting to paint corn syrup with the same brush as HFCS because they don't understand the difference.

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        In the quote above he says the alcohol in which the cherries were macerated “makes a great after-dinner drink,” so he's talking about making a flavored brandy as well as preserving the cherries.

                        And whether the corn syrup is engineered to be high fructose or not, it’s still made from cornstarch and—Karo Light, at least—has salt and vanilla added to it. I’ve never added salt to my brandied fruit and if I wanted vanilla in my flavor profile I’d add a bean.

                        It just sounds to me as though it’s a very old recipe from a time when corn syrup was on every kitchen shelf and people were making grain alcohol in their backyard. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just not a recipe—for either cherries or an after dinner drink—that I would want to use today.

                    2. re: greygarious

                      So glad to hear they last a couple of years! Just remembered I have a couple of small jars in the back of the fridge from last summer, think I'll bring them to the Fourth of July party I'm attending as they tried a few last fall and really enjoyed. Better than Jello shots! Pretty sure I used Kirshwasser this time.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        Having done this process as it was written, all the jar lids started to bulge and when opened, they fizzed. I've not noticed anyone else mentioning this.....does anyone know what I did wrong?

                        1. re: greygarious

                          I tried this and the cherries became virtually white and/or discolored. Is this supposed to happen or is there something that I did wrong. I took a mason jar, added Caro, Vodka, and cherries. closed it and put in the pantry about 6 months ago. Any suggestions?

                          1. re: ewilke

                            See my post above about some varieties of cherries just not holding up for the long haul. I had that happen once when I used a cherry other than Bing. It's one of the reasons I now stick to sour cherries for macerating.